Friday, October 31, 2014

Keynesian Stimulus and Pepto-Bismol

Pele, the young man who helped me dig potatoes the other day received a lesson in Keynesian economics.

Pele is give to bouts of intestinal distress.  It will sneak up on him and then smack him down for weeks at a time.

He tried to be careful, but being a young man he sometime went to parties and maybe have a drink or three.  He tried Over-the-Counter preparations, to little avail.

And then it would start.  It gripped his middle like a vice and shook him like a terrier shakes a rat.  Two weeks later it would spit him out.  Needless to say, this had an impact on his employability

Root cause

I asked him what Over-the-Counter preparations he was taking. 

This is what he took at the start of the episodes to try and get ahead of it.
He took Pepto-Bismol when the first symptoms appeared in an attempt to be proactive.  It goes down easily.  It is sweet and soothing.  It smells nice. And everybody said it is just-the-thing for his symptoms. You can look at the ad..everybody knows..its a no brainer.

Just like the Keynesian cure.

The event invariably escalated.  In a week or two he could only hold down sips of Gatorade or ice water.  Two or three days of those liquids and he would be able to eat bland foods like oatmeal again.

---Disclaimer: I am not a doctor---

I am not a doctor but I have learned the benefits of reading the fine print.  The following text is what showed up in the right sidebar when I googled "Pepto-bismol":

Bismuth subsalicylate
Over-the-counter drug
Consult a doctor if you have a medical concern.
Treats diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach. This medicine contains a salicylate and is related to aspirin.

The plot thickens

Combined Side effects for salicates include:
  • Severe stomach pain   (Check)
  • Bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds  (Check)
  • Blood in stools or urine  (Check)
  • Behavior changes along with nausea and vomiting   (Check)
The medicine was the problem.  The actual cure occured after the patient could no longer stomach medicine that "everybody" knows is just-the-thing for the symptoms.

The only real question is whether the medicine is "just-the-thing" to cause the symptoms or to cure them.  Just like Keynesian Stimulus.

1 comment:

  1. Oh... GOOD one, and true. Those 'side effects' CAN AND DO jump up and bite!


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